Strong customer relationships have become a critical business priority according to the results of the first report in a four-part series following the eighth annual Logicalis Global CIO Survey. The pandemic has emphasised the importance of digital transformation, particularly creating online experiences for customers as sophisticated as in-person. For CIOs, this has meant rethinking their business strategies. Continuing to shift from day-to-day management, CIOs prioritise innovation, business adaptability, and customer experience more than anything else.
The CIO Survey also finds that 81% of CIOs agree that redefining the customer experience will become more relevant in the next five years. Before the pandemic, only half of CIOs surveyed said they were increasing their time spent on innovation. Now, this has increased to 79%, as CIOs are committed to developing innovative solutions that meet the needs of their customers.
These findings reflect the astronomical impact of the pandemic on digital transformation and increased customer experience. According to PwC's Global Digital Pulse survey, more than 50% of global consumers have become digital in the last year. These findings are corroborated in a similar Gartner report, which reveal that 80% of all B2B sales interactions now take place online.
As a result, neglecting the digital space is no longer an option. Digital transformation is a necessity for continued business development and growth. Indeed, 98% of all CIOs surveyed said that the pandemic had accelerated their digital transformation plans. The recent shift in customer experience means CIOs must work with infrastructure to create data-driven customer engagements.
Hence, prioritising the customer is a necessity for the CIO to continue to grow. "Digital experience has become one of, if not the most, important way to reach, connect and communicate with customers in the new digital age. The ability to provide an optimal digital experience will determine the future of an organisation. To deliver the digital experience, businesses should overhaul their infrastructure and leverage evolving technologies to interrogate the end-to-end digital customer journey," explains Toby Alcock, CTO, Logicalis.
As a result of recent industry changes, CIOs are moving away from day-to-day management and toward becoming strategic business leaders. The 2021 Logicalis CIO survey finds that 77% of CIOs invest more in strategic planning to create technologies to help their businesses engage with their customers. Rather than avoiding their customers, CIOs are actively working with their customer base to determine how to develop platforms that mitigate their concerns.
Additional key findings from the CIO Survey include:
- 74% of CIOs connected the impact of COVID-19 to the importance of digital transformation
- Customer service was the third most targeted area in digital transformation projects, with 45% reporting accelerated efforts in this area
- 73% of respondents reported that the pandemic made customer experience more important
So, how well do you really know your customers? Because to succeed in this new digital age, CIOs must be customer obsessed. To ensure success, CIOs can leverage external experts to help drive more efficient customer engagements. A third of survey respondents already see pandemic-driven changes in customer requirements as drivers for sourcing outside help.
To find out more about how this increasing priority on customer experience is reflected in the solutions CIOs develop, business strategies they employ, and technologies they utilise, alongside how an external expert can help, download the first part of the global survey here.